BY PRINCE HENDERSON-ECM Communications Officer
Archbishop Tarsizio Ziyaye of The Archdiocese of Lilongwe celebrates his 25 years of Episcopate at a colourful ceremony scheduled for Maula Cathedral in Lilongwe Saturday (15th July,2017). The Archbishop has since described his journey which started in 1992 in Dedza Diocese as an Auxiliary Bishop as a moment of grace.
From Dedza, Archbishop Ziyaye went to serve as Bishop for the Lilongwe Diocese, before he went to Blantyre Archdiocese and later back to Lilongwe Archdiocese.
“My journey as a Bishop has been a moment of grace in the sense that even now I can’t believe that I have reached this far. God has given me a golden opportunity,” said Archbishop Ziyaye in an exclusive interview with ECM Communications Commission ahead of his celebration.
According to Archbishop Ziyaye, a lot of things have happened along his way but God gave him a golden opportunity to have the general view and an idea of the Catholic Church in Malawi.
He says his strength emanates from his Motto which is taken from Jon 8:29 and gets a lot of inspirations from psalm 123.
“Of course, there have been moments of joy, moments of celebration and also sad moments, including moments of heart breaking experiences but God is always good. He has kept me relatively in good health,” said Archbishop Ziyaye who was visibly in a jovial mood during the time of interview.
Archbishop Ziyaye who is now 68 has in his Episcopate hold various positions ranging from being Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) for ten years, Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Christian Service Committee, Chancellor for Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) and Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA). He was also once Chairman for the mediation talks of political parties in Malawi.
“For me there are not necessarily achievements but I consider this as a golden opportunity that God helped me with, to serve and have interaction with people of great profile. I feel humbled,” His Grace, Most Reverend Ziyaye lamented when asked how he feels to have achieved all these positions.
Commenting on the celebration, Chairman for the National Laity Council, Dr. Ernest Misomali said the occasion is crucial and as the lay faithful they are thankful to God for the gift of Archbishop Ziyaye.
He described Archbishop Ziyaye as a hardworking Bishop, the one who preaches unity and also encourages self-sustainability hence guide in development initiatives for the Archdiocese.
Meanwhile, according to Dr. Misomali, Archbishop Ziyaye is taking a leading role in the construction of a 4000 capacity Cathedral at Maula in Lilongwe.
“The Archbishop treats us all equally. He normally says, the Church is made up of us all. The Clergy, us the laity and of course religious men and women hence we ought to move together,” said Dr. Misomali.
He added; “We wish the Archbishop, all the best as he celebrates his Silver Jubilee and at the same time ask the Almighty God to guide him and also give him more years so that he continues working for the betterment of the Church in Malawi”.
People from all walks of life including his personal friends, Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nasheda of Windhoek Archdiocese in Namibia and Bishop Mickael Bhasela of Masvingo Diocese in Zimbabwe and Deputy Head of the Diplomatic Mission of the Holy See, Apostolic Nunciature of Zambia and Malawi, Monsignor Andriy Yevchuk will grace the occasion. Malawi’s Vice President, Saulosi Chilima will also represent President Peter Mutharika.